In the early 1990s, unable to pay the rent on her apartment in Brooklyn, photographer Ash Thayer, then a struggling art student in New York City (NYC), found a home with the squatters who populated the derelict buildings on the Lower East Side. Left to rot, these tenements had been abandoned during the financial crisis that had brought NYC to the brink of bankruptcy 15 years earlier. With the city’s infrastructure in tatters, the wait for low-income housing was interminable.
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